Father charged with homicide, Child Abuse after emaciated teen son found dead
MERCER COUNTY, PA – A Pennsylvania father is facing charges after his 14-year-old son who only weighed 70 pounds was found dead.
The emaciated teen was discovered outside of the family’s home Thursday morning.
Police say his father Antonio Juan Gonzalez is the one who called 911.
The teen was homeschooled and lived in the home with his father and his 4-year-old sister.
Police say their mother died years ago.
The little girl was average weight and seemed to be in good health.
She’s now in state custody.
Police say they can’t believe the conditions the children had to live in.
Lt. Dan Ekis/state police crime section commander:
“It was squalor conditions. It was in a country setting. The victim was found just inside the trailer,” said Lt. Dan Ekis, the state police crime section commander. “We couldn’t begin to understand what this child went through in fourteen short years, but obviously the way he died, especially at the hands of his father, is especially disturbing.”
Paul Bacorn, a friend of the father, is also facing charges for endangering the welfare of a child and criminal conspiracy.
Meanwhile, authorities are waiting for an autopsy to confirm the teen’s cause of death.
Prosecutor: Exam of ‘Ravenously Hungry’ Children Reveals Disturbing Child Abuse Case
“A Barre couple is accused of extensively harming children known to them—both physically and sexually”
Police and prosecutors in Vermont’s Washington County are calling an investigation into a Barre couple one of their most disturbing cases of alleged child abuse in recent memory.
“It’s a really concerning fact pattern,” Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault said of the accusations against Robin Benedict, 38, and Roland Withers, 35.
Police affidavits filed with the court Friday outline accusations that the couple subjected multiple children who were known to them to extensive cruelty and harm.
Investigators said there were beatings—even threats of murder. Interviews with the children revealed the kids could go days without food or be locked in closets for punishment, according to the affidavits. One young child was allegedly made to drink alcohol, Thibault noted.
The adults are also accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting two children and forcing them to touch each other’s private parts.
Separate defense attorneys for both Benedict and Withers entered not guilty pleas on behalf of their clients to all counts against them.
In one of the interviews described in the affidavits, Robin Benedict said she was afraid Withers might seriously hurt her if she reported the alleged crimes. However, prosecutors said she was a knowing participant in some of the alleged abuse.
Thibault noted the investigation is ongoing.
Judge Mary Morrissey ordered Benedict and Withers jailed without bail until at least their next court hearings. In those hearings, defense attorneys may argue for the suspects to be released on conditions, and prosecutors could present evidence asking that they remain in jail until trial.
According to court paperwork, police learned about the situation after the children’s doctor called in an urgent report that they were “filthy and pale,” “ravenously hungry,” and in the pediatrician’s opinion, “at risk of recurrent injury, deprivation, and death.”
Those alleged victims are now in DCF custody.
In the suspects’ Barre neighborhood, the accusations were deeply upsetting to other parents.
“To hear even just one child is torture,” said Barre resident Amanda Plante. “So I really do hope those kids can find peace.”
The chief of police in Barre said the community and state take sexual violence and crimes against children very seriously, and he wants survivors to know help is available.
“There are a lot of resources in the community and there are a lot of contact points,” said Chief Tim Bombardier. “You can deal with your healthcare provider, you can go through victim advocate services, you can even contact the police department and ask to speak to me.”
Woman arrested for Child Abuse after
toddlers found in bug infested trailer
without any food
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UT – A woman has been booked into jail on a charge of child abuse after police say her children were found filthy and underfed in a trailer infested with cockroaches and other bugs.
According to a statement of probable cause, Virginia M. Martinez has been booked on one count of child abuse as a third-degree felony.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to Martinez’s home on the Shivwits Reservation April 7 due to a verbal argument between Martinez and a male subject.
Responding officers say Martinez was intoxicated, agitated and hard to reason with and that the inside of the trailer was “destroyed”. Police say there were holes in the walls, floors and ceiling. They said one bathroom had an inoperable toilet inside a shower, while in another bathroom the toilet worked but the shower was inoperable with holes in the floor.
Police say Martinez’s two children were filthy and a 3-year-old boy covered in mud was eating noodles off a counter that were so old they had dried out and changed color. A 2-year-old girl was also found to be very dirty, and both children had bug bites on their bodies. Police say the trailer was infested with cockroaches and other bugs.
Martinez did not have food in the home, documents state, and police say it appears she had no transportation or means to get food. Police say a family member came to the home while officers were there and told them the woman is an addict but doesn’t want to go to rehab to get clean.
Police say they observed the 2-year-old girl playing near a broken porch and asked Martinez to keep an eye on the girl, but the woman told police the girl had fallen before and learned her lesson and would not fall again. The child then fell off the porch and was checked out by medical personnel.
Martinez was arrested for child abuse and for failing to provide safety, proper care or food for her children. Police state the Division of Child and Family Services were to take custody of both children.
5-year-old Bronx boy’s parents left him home alone for a night in feces-stained apartment
New York – The flies and the neighbors were still buzzing Saturday after a 5-year-old boy was abandoned all night by his parents inside their vermin-riddled Bronx apartment.
Mom Charlotte Lewis, 49, and dad Wilfred Lewis, 59, were arrested for leaving the child home alone — except for the cockroaches, rats and flies.
“A couple of times they would leave the door open and I always told my boyfriend, ‘Oh, that house is kind of disgusting,’” said Deanna Strom, 27, one day after a FedEx deliveryman discovered the lonely boy.
The Kingsbridge Ave. apartment, in addition to the living critters, featured feces splattered across the walls when cops arrived on the scene Friday afternoon.
A stench of decay wafted from the apartment Saturday, when a squadron of flies remained visible through a hole left in the front door where the knob was missing.
“I couldn’t imagine that at all,” Strom said about the vile conditions inside the home. “It was pretty disturbing.”
On top of the repugnant state of the residence, there was no food inside the refrigerator, authorities said.
The parents were arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court Saturday night on endangerment charges.
Prosecutors said three out of the four children recently had scabies and the little boy left alone had bugs on his body and in his coat.
“This is not a case of poverty, but severe child abuse and neglect,” said Assistant District Attorney Nick Lastella.
There was combination of live and dead rodents in the home and “significant blood smears in the apartment, particularly in the bathroom and on the toilet,” Lastella said.
The boy told police that he last saw his parents on Thursday night, cops said.
Authorities found his mother at Montefiore Medical Center where she works as a nurse. Prosecutors said she is enrolled in a masters program at New York University.
The boy’s father is a technician for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The couple has three other kids — a 12-year-old girl, a 13-year-old girl, and a 15-year-old boy — although none were at home when police arrived.
All four kids are at Montefiore for observation, prosecutors said. Bail for their parents was set at $15,000.
Police find malnourished 5-year-old girl locked in closet under stairway
RANDLEMAN, NC – Police found a malnourished 5-year-old girl locked in a small closet under a stairway at a home in Randleman, according to a press release.
On Sept. 12, Randleman police conducted a welfare check for a child at a home in the 200 block of Back Street. Officers were told the child was being physically and mentally abused.
Officers went to the home in an effort to locate the little girl. Upon arrival, they found no vehicles in the driveway and it appeared no one was there.
Officers knocked on the door and received no response, so they began calling the child’s name. Once they began yelling, they received a response.
They first asked the child if she was OK and the girl replied with “no.” Officers then asked if she needed help and she replied, “yes.”
Officers then made entry through a front porch window and found the child locked in a two-foot by four-foot closet under a stairway. She had no food or water and appeared to be extremely malnourished with burns, scratches, and bruises all over her body.
The 5-year-old was taken from the home by a daycare employee. She was taken to Randolph Hospital and transferred to Brenner’s Children’s Hospital.
She is currently in the custody of the Randolph County Department of Social Services.
As a result, Adam Joshua Byrd, who is the child’s father, and Crystal Dawn Carnahan, who is a child caretaker, were arrested.
Byrd is charged with assault with a deadly weapon serious injury, intentional child abuse serious physical injury and negligent child abuse serious physical injury.
Carnahan is charged with assault with deadly weapon serious injury, intentional child abuse serious physical injury and negligent child abuse serious physical injury.
Both were taken to the Randolph County Jail on a $350,000 secured bond.